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It wasn’t that way when I was teaching. Mondays were the beginning of a heavy work week, and I often hadn’t gotten enough rest to send me off in an optimistic mood. Often, instead, I was in a grumbly mood thinking about all I had to accomplish by the end of the week. I would need to cajole my Monday morning students into good moods so as to get them ready to learn. It’s hard to learn when one is grumbly. My students didn’t know I too had the Monday-morning blues because I jollied myself into a good mood by the time they hit the classroom, on my feet and smiling.
“Mrs. Zody, you’re always in a good mood. How come?”
You do what you have to do.
Now, though, it’s different. In retirement I am excited for Monday morning to roll around. A new week. Lots of fun activities planned. Yes, I still have goals to accomplish, but at my own pace. I don’t see students until Tuesday afternoon for Good News Club. Then I’m at Columbia on Wednesday and Thursday with another story to read and coloring pages to hand out and children to hug. The days of the new week look all shiny and bright from the advantage point of Monday morning. I love Mondays.
As women tend to do, I’ve attributed my moderate successes in life to luck. Yes, hard work and intelligence do play a part, but luck stands out as queen of the trifecta.
I was lucky to be a baby boomer born in Australia. Modest talent took us a long way as we rode post-war prosperity.
I was lucky to have excellent public schools – my parents never endured the angst of the private/public debate. Private was out of their league and it didn’t matter.
I was lucky in my parents. Typical of their generation they were early school leavers – but they were bright and valued education. My mother was an early escapee to the workforce and I was always so proud of the interesting job she held at Parliament House in Western Australia. She was always my role model and at 87 still is.
I was lucky being one of the 10% or so in the 60’s who went to university. But more than that, I also was accepted as a cadet journalist on the West Australian newspaper. These days you need a PhD, a series of unpaid internships and other outrageous requirements. It was hard in my day, too. But I believe what impressed them was I’d been editor of the school newspaper and my incredible coup in nabbing JT and the Jazzmen, the hottest group in Perth at the time, to play at the school ball.
I’ve been so lucky in my love life – remaining friends with my first partner, while deeply loving my current partner of 30 years, the father of our two sons who I could not be more proud of. How did we raise such decent and interesting young men?
I’ve been lucky in having a fulfilling career in journalism and when that finished to have started a blog which has brought me so close to many readers in a way I’ve not experienced before. I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of ageing with me.
But dear readers, my luck has run out. I’m not going to be one of those feisty octogenarians I so admired.
I want to say it’s unfair. I never smoked; I’ve been too much the ‘good girl’ all my life. But the lung cancer detected in 2014, operated on and treated with chemotherapy, has raged back. The prognosis is poor. I hope for miracles and I look at Clive James with hope. Whatever happens, I’ve been so lucky.
But right now dear readers, I’m too sick to continue to write the blog. Maybe I will be able to re-start it again. But if not, I want you to know what a privilege it has been to be part of such a thoughtful community. I valued your comments and your following. You’ll still be able to access my writing and readers’ comments from the past two and a half years at the same web address.
Growing older is a mixture of good and bad.
May you have the good luck to enjoy a vibrant and engaged long life.
So for all those grandmothers out there and those granddaughters who are listening. Please know three things. First we grandmothers know about stomping upstairs, and impatience, and obnoxious behavior. We may not always admit it, but a lot of our knowledge comes from personal experience. Second, our ability to forgive and forget the grievances of grandchildren nears saintliness, and last, but certainly not least, grandmothers understand soul-tickling better than anyone else. I suspect, Alysia, your antics soul-tickled your grandmother more than you will ever know.